Has the UP Government slashed funds for Education?

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Newspapers have reported that there was a massive reduction in the education budget by the new UP government. Political parties also picked up the story without cross checking the facts.       

 The Uttar Pradesh government headed by the BJP presented its first budget recently. The very next day, various newspapers like the Business Standard quoting a PTI report reported that the UP government has slashed funds for education in the 2017-18 budget.

Soon after, the Congress Vice- President, Rahul Gandhi also tweeted the Business Standard story.

The Aam Aadmi Party posted this picture on its Facebook page. The AAP also seems to have taken the numbers from the Business Standard story.

So what is the truth?

However, the UP government’s Budget documents tell a different story. Below are the links to the official budget documents

  • Primary Education:         2016-17       2017-18
  • Secondary Education:    2016-17       2017-18
  • Higher Education:           2016-17       2017-18

There is a primary difference between the nature of budgets for the year 2016-17 and 2017-18 in the way the allocations are made. The central government and most state governments have done away with the Plan/Non-Plan mode of budgeting to Revenue/Capital budgeting. Even UP has done the same. Despite this change, the allocations have increased and not decreased.

Sector 2016-17 (B/E) in Rs Cr 2017-8 (B/E) in Rs Cr Increase/Decrease
Primary Education 38066 50142 31.7%
Secondary Education 8957 9387 4.8%
Higher Education 2585 2656 2.7%
Total 49608 62185 25.4%

 

Compared to the budget estimates of 2016-17 by the Akhilesh Yadav government, the education allocation in 2017-18 budget estimate has gone up by over 25%. The allocations have increased in Primary, Secondary as well as Higher education sectors. If one compares the revised estimates of 2016-17, the increase in allocations is over 30%.

Even PRS Legislative Research has noted the same in their analysis of the UP Budget 2017-18. PRS noted that compared to the budget estimate for education in 2016-17 of Rs 49808 (including the budget of SCERT), the 2017-18 budget estimate for education increased by Rs 12500 crore.

Claims Vs Facts

Claim 1: The allocation to secondary education is down to Rs 576 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 9990 crore in 2016-17.

Fact: The total allocation for secondary education in 2017-18 is Rs 9387 crore as per the UP Budget documents. So this claim is false.

Claim 2: The allocation to higher education is down to Rs 272.77 crore in 2017-18 from Rs 2,469.73 crore in 2016-17.

Fact: The total allocation for higher education in 2017-18 is Rs 2656 crore. So this claim is also false.

Claim 3: There is no mention of the laptop scheme in 2017-18 budget.

Fact: Yes, there is no mention of such a scheme in 2017-18 while this was introduced in 2016-17 by the previous government. This claim is true.

Claim 4: The Aam Aadmi Party claimed that the per capita expenditure on education in Delhi as per the 2017-18 budget is (Rs 11300 crore for 1.8 crore population) is Rs 6,277 while the per capita expenditure in UP is Rs 11.52.

Fact: AAP has used only the secondary education budget numbers for UP as reported by Business Standard while it counted the total education budget for Delhi. Even otherwise, the total expenditure on education in UP as per the 2017-18 budget is Rs 62351 crore (including SCERT budget). Hence the per capita expenditure in UP would be Rs 3117.5 and not Rs 11.52 as claimed by AAP. This claim is also false.

 

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